“While shopping downtown one day, you find an antiques store that has a rare, old doll. You buy it for your daughter. A few days later she tells you her new toy can talk. You don’t believe her, until one afternoon you find yourself alone in the house, and it starts talking to you. Write this scene.”
-Writer’s Digest Creative Writing Prompt: The Living Doll
“Your spouse wants to move out of your new apartment, saying that there is a large space you both can move into. When you go to visit the new digs, you find it’s an abandoned warehouse at an old train yard. Clearly you can’t live there. Only your spouse just spent your life savings to buy it. What do you say?”
-Writer’s Digest Creative Writing Prompt: Your New Home
So, November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. This is a time to buckle down and take yourself and your craft seriously and write until your fingers bleed and all that good stuff. If you’re a writer and you’re in a position to do that, then all the power to you. I wish you the very best.
I am not participating.
It’s not because I lack confidence or conviction, but purely because, well… I have a problem. I’m in a good place right now, where I’m actually able to close Microsoft Word and read scientific papers and make progress toward my thesis instead. I’m a firm believer that we make our own problems most of the time, and I’m not participating so I can avoid doing that.
So, instead of taking myself seriously as a writer, I’m going to use November to cover the tough issues that I think too many people overlook. You know, like why people write out every last detail of the taste of a wine and how it pairs with the filet, but won’t describe the consistency of a poo. Or how people describe the sensations of sex, but don’t go into detail about the gory details of bleeding from your fun box for a week.
“Flipping through your library books for research, you find one of the books you incorrectly checked out. It’s a handwritten journal authored by someone you know. Who wrote it and what does it say?”
-Writer’s Digest Creative Writing Prompt: The Journal
There’s this professor I know. He’s an absolute genius, but he never sounds like it.
This professor’s brain works about 3x faster than his speech center and 5x faster than his mouth, so he constantly stutters or makes prolonged vowel sounds or has to back up and fill in the steps he skipped. He makes mental leaps trying to catch up to himself, and it makes it quite hard to learn.
We even defined his last name as a verb to describe such an action.
I think a lot of people (writers included) tend to “pull a [name redacted].”
“You are trying to read the morning newspaper when your cat begins pawing at your leg. You brush it away, but it jumps on the table and begins meowing. Finally, the cat speaks. What does she say? Write this scene and what she is trying to tell you.”
-Writer’s Digest Creative Writing Prompt: Garfield in Real Life